As St. Vincent football coach Tim Schumer looked back on his team’s game with Scott City, he knew one thing: They have to start faster. The Indians rallied in the second half to get with one touchdown, but a pair of big plays squashed a hope of a comeback, as the Indians fell 49-35 on Friday night in Scott City.
“I’m very proud of their effort,” Schumer said. “We are getting closer every week, but we just have to start faster. We have to come out ready to play from the opening kick-off, not the second half kick off.”
St. Vincent fell behind 21-0 at the half time break and then came out in the third quarter with something to prove. A pass interference penalty on the Ram put the ball near midfield. On the next play Blake Schnurbusch corralled a 35-yard catch in the middle of the field that set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Nick Lappe to inch St. Vincent closer to 21-7 with 10:10 left in the third.
But the big play was a problem for the Indians all night and that persisted on the ensuing Rams drive. The Rams were caught in a 2nd and 28 dilemma when the Rams picked up a big chunk of that yardage back and then the problem was compounded with a personal foul penalty that gave the Rams a first down.
“We just have to be strong mentally and keep our composure,” Schumer said. “We have to be aware of where we are on the field and not let anyone behind us.”
A few plays later Rams quarterback Spencer Strattman scored on a draw play up the middle to widen the Scott City lead back to 28-7 with 5:53 left in the quarter.
That’s when the rally started for the Indians as Schnurbusch caught his first of two touchdowns on the day from 14 yard out down the sideline to pull St. Vincent within two scores.
Scott City converted a fourth down on the next drive, but then fumbled on the next play and St. Vincent recovered at their own 28 yard line. The Rams had their own share of personal foul calls as the Rams were called for a late hit out of bounds on Lappe that put the ball on the Rams 28. The play set up a one yard dive by Lappe to narrow the score to 28-21 with 7:22 left in the game.
It looked like the Indians could pull off the comeback, but Rams senior Joe Pangos had other ideas.
Pangos led the charge with a 55 yard touchdown on a slant and then the Rams picked off Indians quarterback Garrett Dobbelare on the ensuing drive to put the game out of reach at 42-21 with over six minutes left in the game.
Schnurbusch and Jacob Kapp added touchdowns for the Indians in the final minutes.
The game was chippy down the stretch, which resulted in Scott City head coach Jim May, and one other Rams player to be ejected in the final minute.
But assistant coach Stephen O’ Brien recalled what he told his team at halftime.
“I tried to tell our guys that there was still a lot of ball game left,” O’Brien said. “We had just enough to pull away in the end.”
It certainly didn’t look as if the game would turn into the battle it would soon become early in the first quarter. The Rams took the ball down the field and capped off the eight play drive with a 10 yard run by senior Jimmy May Jr. with 9:04 left in the opening quarter. The ensuing drive for the Indians was uneventful and the ensuing punt was short and downed at the Indian 33. The Rams took advantage of the short field and soon made it 14-0.
The Indians certainly looked as if they would get on the scoreboard at the end of the first quarter when Dobbelare scrambled for a 35 yard gain and then a pass interference call on the Rams put the ball on the Scott City 11. The Rams forced a fourth down play and Dobblare threw a touchdown pass to Kaleb Whistler, but the play was flagged because it was determined that Dobbelare passed the line of scrimmage before throwing the pass.
Strattman threw a 70 yard pass to Kobe Hann, a few plays later to put the Rams up 21-0.
Despite the loss, Schumer sees some progress in his team’s performance.
“Anytime you challenge them like we did in the second half, it’s great to see,” he said. “We didn’t lay down when it was 21-0 and I didn’t expect them to.”